Being Faithful to Promises

Key Verse: “Seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless. And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you.”
—II Peter 3:14-15

Selected Scripture:
II Peter 3

“IN THE LAST OF THE days scoffers will come with scoffing, walking after their own lusts, and saying, Where is the promise of his presence? for from the time the fathers fell asleep, all things continue in this way from the beginning of the creation.” (II Pet. 3:3,4, Wilson’s Emphatic Diaglott) But, prophets had promised the coming of the Messiah, and Jesus was preaching, “The kingdom of God is at hand.” (Mark 1:15)

Our Lord was with his disciples when he told them, “There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.” (Matt. 16:28) This was typically fulfilled six days later when he brought Peter, James, and John up into a high mountain. There the disciples witnessed a brilliant, transformed Jesus, accompanied by Moses and Elijah, all enveloped in a vision of the kingdom. But Christ hadn’t returned. This was a confirmation of the kingdom promise, but God’s kingdom hadn’t actually come; in fact nothing much had changed since the creation of the world.

Those who scoff forget God’s power. He created the heavens and the earth and now has promised all power over both to form a “new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.” (II Pet. 3:13) “But do not let this one [fact] escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day. The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up.”—vss. 8-10, New American Standard

Fiery destruction of the present heavens and earth with their elements refers to the meltdown of worldly social, political, financial and ecclesiastical systems. “I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.” (Rev. 21:1-5) Thus will all mankind see the marvelous fulfillment of their prayers for God’s kingdom upon earth.—Matt. 6:10

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